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Who's expected at Berlinale Panorama 2009

Catherine Breillat, Michael Winterbottom, Michael Glawogger, Lucía Puenzo, and Philippe Lioret

Shortly before completing our selection for this year’s programme, it has become evident that genuinely independent cinema – in contrast to the independents of the major studios in the early 2000s – is at an advantage due to the economic crisis. In other words: cinema now promises to become more radical and audacious again, and hence more inspiring. This development can be seen not only in a new generation of filmmakers like Lucía Puenzo, who will be presenting her second film, El niño pez, in which the love of two women takes them to the brink of something that goes far beyond personal sensitivities and ends in a political thriller. But it can be seen also in a luminary of independent filmmaking like Catherine Breillat (Manfred Salzgeber Award in 2001 for À ma soeur!), who illustrates with her latest work La Barbe Bleue, an exploration of the famous tale of Bluebeard, that things are moving in this direction.

Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross (Silver Bear in 2006 for The Road to Guantanamo) will present in Panorama Dokumente a work in progress: The Shock Doctrine. Based on Naomi Klein’s book of the same name, the filmmakers analyse in it the systematic trend towards the privatization of public assets – a trend that has, in the interim, affected national economies almost everywhere, and by doing so is generating a sense of injustice in billions of people.

Philippe Lioret’s Welcome shows the tragic situation in which illegal refugees from Iraq find themselves, if they try to reach England from France.

In the German-Austrian-French production Das Vaterspiel, Michael Glawogger portrays how the persecution of the Jews under the Nazi regime can still unexpectedly affect the present.


30 Years of Programming - Celebration Presentations

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this section, first presented as the “Info-Schau” in 1980 by its former director Manfred Salzgeber (and renamed Panorama in 1986), a number of filmmakers from the early years will show their latest films: in 1985, for instance, the “Info-Schau” screened Gus Van Sant’s directorial debut, Mala Noche, as well as the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk by Robert Epstein, who won an Oscar for it. Now, in 2009, Gus Van Sant will present Milk, his new film about Harvey Milk, the first gay city commissioner in San Francisco in the late 1970s, who died by assassination; Robert Epstein’s documentary on the same topic will be re-screened on this occasion.

In addition to her most recent film in the Main Programme, Catherine Breillat’s film Tapage nocturne, which was first presented in 1980, will be shown again in 2009. Joe Dallesandro, who played one of the protagonists in her film, is this year’s Special TEDDY Award-winner. He will also be coming to Berlin for the presentation of Little Joe, Nicole Haeusser’s documentary portrait of him.

A John Hurt triptych completes the films being presented for this 30th anniversary: in the official programme, Panorama will be showing British director Richard Laxton’s latest film, An Englishman In New York, in which John Hurt plays Quentin Crisp in his later years in New York, as was celebrated in Sting’s 1987 hit of the same name. The Presentation also includes Jonathan Nossiter’s first film, Resident Alien (with Quentin Crisp, John Hurt, Holly Woodlawn and Sting) that premiered in Panorama in 1990, as well as Jack Gold’s legendary The Naked Civil Servant (1975), in which John Hurt plays the young Quentin Crisp in England.

From some 70,000 archive images, graphic artist Jörg Eschenburg has selected 172 photos of directors, actors and actresses, and assembled them into a historical collage for a special “30 years of programming” poster.

Soon we will announce the opening films of the Main Programme, Panorama Special and Panorama Dokumente, as well as the complete list of films.


Features

La Barbe bleue by Catherine Breillat, France (world premiere)
With Dominique Thomas, Lola Creton, Daphné Baiwir

An Englishman In New York by Richard Laxton, Great Britain/USA (world premiere)
With John Hurt, Denis O'Hare, Jonathan Tucker, Swoozie Kurtz, Cynthia Nixon

Das Vaterspiel (Kill Daddy Good Night) by Michael Glawogger, Germany/Austria/France (world premiere)
With Jeremy Strong, Ulrich Tukur, Sabine Timoteo

El niño pez (The Fish Child) by Lucía Puenzo, Argentina/Spain (world premiere)
With Inés Efrón, Emme, Pep Munné, Arnaldo André, Carlos Bardem

Welcome by Philippe Lioret, France
With Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana


Panorama Dokumente

The Shock Doctrine by Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross, Great Britain (world premiere)

Little Joe by Nicole Haeusser, USA (world premiere)
With Joe Dallesandro


30 Years of Programming - Celebration Presentations

Milk by Gus Van Sant, USA 2008
With Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Josh Brolin, James Franco

Resident Alien by Jonathan Nossiter, USA 1990
With Quentin Crisp, John Hurt, Holly Woodlawn, Sting

Tapage nocturne by Catherine Breillat, France 1979
With Bertrand Bonvoisin, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Joe Dallesandro, Dominique Laffin, Gérard Lanvin

The Naked Civil Servant by Jack Gold, Great Britain 1975
With John Hurt, Liz Gebhardt, Stanley Lebor, Katharine Schofield

The Times Of Harvey Milk by Robert Epstein, USA 1984
Oscar for Best Documentary Film in 1985

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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